Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by fuzzjunkie » Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:05 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:54 pm
There's also firebird pickups, which can fit in a humbucker adapter pickup ring, or D'Urbano Magnetics' Big Bird pickups, which are Firebird-style construction but on PAF-sized bobbins. Firebirds have some of that extra girth in the lows but maintain a very Fendery string attack and high end.

Then there's Fralin's Twangmaster, P-92, and Big Single pickups, which all sound different but capture a singlecoil style tone in a noiseless PAF sized format (Fender-style for the Twangmaster, P-90 style for the P-92, and goldfoil style with the big single IMO).
The Big Single sounds like a Goldfoil? I have been curious about that for a few months now. I was wondering if they were intended to sound like a Jazzmaster but were closer to a Filtertron.

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by mbene085 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:53 pm

fuzzjunkie wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:05 pm
The Big Single sounds like a Goldfoil? I have been curious about that for a few months now. I was wondering if they were intended to sound like a Jazzmaster but were closer to a Filtertron.
That's not Fralin's ad copy or anything, that's my personal take. The Big Singles have this kind of "thwack" to the string attack that reminds me more of goldfoils than of any other pickup archetype. Mind you, I only have "Guyatone" style goldfoils, not DeArmond/Rowe. The Twangmasters have the immediate, stinging attack of alnico polepieces. The P-92s have the rounded attack of steel-poled/bar magnet pickups like the P-90. The Big Singles have a kind of blunted, compressed thing going on with the attack that I have only experienced personally in my goldfoils. They've got a bar magnet with no steel polepieces added, so they're kind of constructed similarly, except I always assumed the Big Single had two sidewinder coils in it (Fralin likes to do that).

This is a pretty nice comparison of a bunch of pickups including the Big Singles and some goldfoils though they are the DeArmond/Rowe style that sound a bit different.

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:35 pm

DiMarzio EJ Custom

https://www.dimarzio.com/pickups/vinta ... ustom-neck

Relatively inexpensive (certainly vs Lollars etc), and I loved it. Gave clarity and a bit of sparkle in the neck of a heavy Les Paul.
Stop me if you think you've heard this one before....

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by Lost In Autumn » Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:51 am

mbene085 wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:53 pm
fuzzjunkie wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:05 pm
The Big Single sounds like a Goldfoil? I have been curious about that for a few months now. I was wondering if they were intended to sound like a Jazzmaster but were closer to a Filtertron.
That's not Fralin's ad copy or anything, that's my personal take. The Big Singles have this kind of "thwack" to the string attack that reminds me more of goldfoils than of any other pickup archetype. Mind you, I only have "Guyatone" style goldfoils, not DeArmond/Rowe. The Twangmasters have the immediate, stinging attack of alnico polepieces. The P-92s have the rounded attack of steel-poled/bar magnet pickups like the P-90. The Big Singles have a kind of blunted, compressed thing going on with the attack that I have only experienced personally in my goldfoils. They've got a bar magnet with no steel polepieces added, so they're kind of constructed similarly, except I always assumed the Big Single had two sidewinder coils in it (Fralin likes to do that).

This is a pretty nice comparison of a bunch of pickups including the Big Singles and some goldfoils though they are the DeArmond/Rowe style that sound a bit different.
I have a P92 in my Baritone Jagmaster- it's got a certain klang to the tone that both humbuckers and p90's seem to lack, but that may also be the string gauge, too. it's a strong contender and I like how it plays with the filtertron. I do want to see if there's something better, though.
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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by redchapterjubilee » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:20 am

With 1M pots pretty much any PAF styled low power humbucker will give you an open, biting sound. I like DiMarzio 36th Anniversaries and Gibson Burstbucker 1/2 a lot for less expensive options, and Lollar Imperials if you want to be a little more spendy. Another option for something halfway PAF halfway Filtertron is to look at the DiMarzio Eric Johnson pickups. I put a pair of those in a Blacktop Jaguar and loved them with the stock pots. Probably would've liked them even more with 1M pots. You can always roll the tone or volume back or add a cap to cut some top. It's hard to add the top back if there isn't much there to begin with.

My favorite bucker for people who don't like buckers, esp with 1M pots, is a WRHB. That said, I don't think Novak's HB sized WRHB's sound that great. I've tried two over the years, newer and older winds, and thought it sounded different than the JM sized WRHB's. I'm hoping at some point to put my new pink CVJM under the router to put full size WRHB's in it.

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by Lost In Autumn » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:32 am

These look and sound great: https://youtu.be/dMTwxQ0O6ds
I may have to give Curtis a call.
Those T-Bird pickups would be great for a Starcaster style build i have planned, too.

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:32 am

So I talked very quickly about the Lollar El Rayos, but I want to speak a little more about them. First of all, while they live in the typical PAF type housing, they have a DC resistance of Neck 3.5K, Bridge 4.0K. So these are super low wind pickups under there. He uses a mixture of Alnico 5 and Alnico 8 (!) magnets, and frankly they just sound wonderful.

I played a Les Paul with them for a little bit and was pretty blown away, and I will absolutely put a set in a guitar when I have a guitar worth putting them in. The high end was there, sure, not unlike a single coil... not surprising, considering these pickups are wound lighter than a lot of single coils. But they were also powerful sounding if you wanted them to be, nothing weak, and more importantly I was blown away by the dynamics of them.

A lot of hum buckers can get get compressed, which can be a cool sound, but not these things... amazingly responsive to pick attack.

I very much encourage anyone to take a look at them. He knocked it out of the park with these, and if I ever get another PAF type guitar I'll be putting some in.
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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by mackerelmint » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:35 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:32 am
So I talked very quickly about the Lollar El Rayos, but I want to speak a little more about them. First of all, while they live in the typical PAF type housing, they have a DC resistance of Neck 3.5K, Bridge 4.0K. So these are super low wind pickups under there. He uses a mixture of Alnico 5 and Alnico 8 (!) magnets, and frankly they just sound wonderful.

I played a Les Paul with them for a little bit and was pretty blown away, and I will absolutely put a set in a guitar when I have a guitar worth putting them in. The high end was there, sure, not unlike a single coil... not surprising, considering these pickups are wound lighter than a lot of single coils. But they were also powerful sounding if you wanted them to be, nothing weak, and more importantly I was blown away by the dynamics of them.

A lot of hum buckers can get get compressed, which can be a cool sound, but not these things... amazingly responsive to pick attack.

I very much encourage anyone to take a look at them. He knocked it out of the park with these, and if I ever get another PAF type guitar I'll be putting some in.

That's really interesting! One thing that's long struck me as strange is the convention of resistance = output. Bill lawrence's convention of measuring pickups in terms of inductance always seemed a lot more practical to me, though I'm no expert on the subject. That said, there's no reason light winds should mean low output if the inductance is there.

Back to the subject at hand, though, those sound like they'd be excellent humbuckers for someone who hates humbuckers.
This is an excellent rectangle

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by mbene085 » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:57 am

That's interesting about the El Rayos. There are two possible reasons for the low resistance. They're probably either wound using thicker wire (e.g. AWG 41 or 40 instead of 42), or fewer turns (or a combination thereof).

Charlie Christian pickups are very dark and rather high-output single coils that are roughly P90-sized, but because they're wound with massive 38 AWG wire, they're in the 3k resistance range. These could be humbuckers wound with a larger gauge wire, which would fill the bobbins in fewer turns, and yield a deceptively low-looking resistance.

Another possibility is that they're just wound with fewer turns of AWG 42 wire, like a filtertron. Filtertrons are usually in the 4k range because they simply have fewer turns of wire. They have more output and inductance per turn of wire because they use a huge magnet, literally double the thickness and strength of a PAF magnet.

So a pickup like an El Rayo can end up with a perfectly robust output if Lollar is either filling the bobbins with a thicker gauge wire, or using a thicker magnet. Alnico 8 also has a higher coercive force than alnico 5, which might be why he's using that.

Overall, they sound like the type of pickup I'd love to try. I had "humbucker phobia" for many years despite hating 60 cycle hum. It's only been in the last 5 years that I really started getting into all the cool humbuckers that maintain the kind of high-end response I like from single coils, like filtertrons, firebirds, Z-coils, etc. The El Rayos may look like PAFs but clearly aren't built like them.

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Re: Humbucker pickups for people who don’t like humbuckers...

Post by s_mcsleazy » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:22 pm

ok. so im not into the sound of humbuckers in the bridge but i can name a few humbuckers i do like.

univox ripper pickup - very trashy humbucker but can be surprisingly sparkly. works better in the bridge imho but still good.
wrhb - there are some great smaller wrhb's out at the moment. i dont remember which ones are in my green jagmaster but they're really good.
70's dimarzio's - not super high output but have a real beefy quality.
sentell jm-03. basically a jazzmaster humbucker but it's sooo clean sounding.
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